After 14 years, Dave Kusek is stepping down as VP at Berklee College Of Music to pursue business consulting and angel investing in digital music and media. Kusek, who co-authored the iconic "Future Of Music - A Manifesto For The Digital Music Revolution", founded and led Berklee's hugely successful Berkleemusic online school.
In 2012, Berkleemusic will serve 12,000 students from 170 countries taking more than 200 courses online. "When I arrived at Berklee in 1997, it was already the best music college around," says Kusek. "I began to work on expanding the Berklee brand and increasing our influence and reach around the world.”
Even before founding Berkleemusic or co-writing "Future Of Music", Kusek was digital music pioneer; helping to develop the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), co-inventing of the first electronic drums “Synare”, and co-founding Passport Designs, the first music software company.
Now, Kusek is shifting gears again to capitalize on what he sees as a new flow of ideas and money in digital music and media. “There is a fantastic opportunity in online entertainment, education and digital media," says Kusek. "I have been watching the trends for years and the signs are incredibly positive.” At the center of his new efforts is a re-invigoration of his consulting business Digital Cowboys and launching a new angel fund, Cowboy Ventures.
Digital Cowboys provides business development, digital marketing and product development services to online businesses in digital media, music, education and entertainment. He has a long list of clients that he has already worked with at digitalcowboys.com. His Cowboy Ventures fund has already made its first investment and is actively looking for more startups to back.
First Investment: Tastemate
Cowboy Ventures is an early investor in Tastemate, a startup developing geo-social mobile platforms for live events. Kusek's been advising the company since its' inception and recently helped secure seed capital. The company is now in the early stages of product development and field testing its product.
STAY TUNED: We'll have an exclusive interview with Dave Kusek later this week.